Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.
One of the great things about living in Texas is our gloriously mild winters. I still remember as a teenager slathering on the baby oil and spraying the Sun In in my hair one toasty February 14 in preparation for a Valentine’s Day dance. I also remember my mother yelling at me from the back porch to get out of the sun, that I was ruining my skin — but that’s another story . Yes, we get a little dusting of snow here and there and an occasional ice storm, but on the whole we’ve got it pretty darn good, winter-wise. Of course, the flip side to that weather coin is our beastly hot summers. At about mid-July every year I begin the count down to Texas-OU weekend because that second weekend in October is when we typically our first “cold snap” in North Texas. I’m so excited to finally get a break from the endless weeks of blistering heat that I’ll don a sweater at that first 80 degree day.
There’s no better way to beat the heat then a dip in a frosty pool and if you’re like most moms, you and your brood are regulars at your local ce-ment pond. I’ve found a good way to break the summer tedium is to venture out and explore some of the pools, spraygrounds and aquatic centers here in North Texas. Try a different pool a few miles away and if you’re feeling really adventuresome you can make a day of it. Case in point, Rose, her friend Reese and I headed North on Saturday to check out Water Works Parks in Denton. It was about an hour drive for us but it was well worth it. Besides a generous size children’s activity area, there’s also a lazy river, three large slides and best of all–2 large indoor pools. I say “best of all”, because after baking in the sun for three hours on the Lazy River it was nice to be able to take a break and swim indoors. At lunchtime we ate under one of the covered picnic pavillions but there is also plenty of green space if you want to bring a blanket and spread out. The park allows you to bring in coolers and there is also a concession area if you want to buy snacks. Water Works doesn’t have as many “rides” as the larger water parks, but at 7 to 11 dollars a person the price is definitely right and there’s plenty to keep the kids busy all day.
Another out-of-the-way swimming hole is the pool at Sandy Lake Amusement Park. If you’ve lived in Dallas since you were a child you’ve probably got fond memories of this sweet, old fashioned amusement park. If you want to make a day of it, you can ride the rides in the morning (be sure to go early because it is summer, after all), eat lunch and then cool off in the pool in the afternoon. The pool doesn’t have any bells or whistles apart from a solitary mushroom waterfall, but I love this pool for one very big reason: It’s NEVER crowded. In fact, we’ve been on several occasions when Rose and her friends were the only swimmers. Having endured many pools that were so jammed with people they resembled Calcutta, I can tell you this is a huge plus. Admission to the park is $2.00 a person and it’s another $5.00 person to use the pool, but if you visit their website there are discounts to be found.
If pool parties are your idea of fun then be sure to stop by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles pool (or F.O.E for short) on Saturday, June 30 as Girls Rock Dallas hosts their Summer Splash Party, a party/concert to raise money and awareness for the rock camp for girls coming up at the end of July. In addition to a great line up of local bands (The Zeppos, Skating Polly, Static Mind, Faded Grace) the organizers have also promised water balloons, an air guitar contest, hamburgers, hot dogs, give aways and prizes. Grab the sun screen, blow up the beach ball and let’s jump in the deep end for a good cause!
Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 7-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your favorite pool or clue us in to your ideas for quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at email@example.com.